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Zine review: Evil Mushroom

March 1, 2011

Evil Mushroom, by Maude Farrugia.  Available here.

You need to be careful with mushrooms. There’s one called Trumpet Of Death that, despite its threatening name, is actually really quite harmless and apparently delicious with fish. Meanwhile there’s probably one called something deceptively cutesy like Fluffy Babykins or Kitten’s Whistful Sigh that would kill you before you’ve even swallowed it.

The latter example is not a bad metaphor for the drawing style of Maude Farrugia, whose Evil Mushroom gives an illustrated example of deadly fungus misjudgement. Her super-sweet world of smiling characters may look jolly, but if you see beyond the tweeness it can be achingly melancholic (see Flora or Sooky Cloud) or, in the case of Happy Crap, a bit disgusting. Evil Mushroom, however, is where it gets nasty. Reading this slice of warped loveliness is like playing Super Mario and suddenly, instead of giving him a 1-up or making him grow twice as big, a mushroom jumps down the plumber’s throat and dissolves his liver and kidneys.


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